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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish MacTaggart family come from? What is the Scottish MacTaggart family crest and coat of arms? When did the MacTaggart family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the MacTaggart family history?

In ancient Scotland, the ancestors of the MacTaggart family were part of a tribe called the Picts. The name MacTaggart is derived from the Gaelic name Mac an t-Sagairt, which means "son of the priest."


The appearance of the printing press and the first dictionaries in the last few hundred years did much to standardize spelling. Prior to that time scribes spelled according to sound, a practice that resulted in many spelling variations. MacTaggart has been spelled MacTaggart, MacTagart, MacIntaggart, MacTuggart, MacToggart and many more.

First found in Ross-shire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rois) a former county, now part of the Council Areas of Highland and Western Isles in Northern Scotland, which emerged from the Gaelic lordship of the Earl of Ross, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Scotland to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacTaggart research. Another 160 words (11 lines of text) covering the year 1215 is included under the topic Early MacTaggart History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early MacTaggart Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


The expense of the crossing to the North American colonies seemed small beside the difficulties of remaining in Scotland. It was a long and hard trip, but at its end lay the reward of freedom. Some Scots remained faithful to England and called themselves United Empire Loyalists, while others fought in the American War of Independence. Much of this lost Scottish heritage has been recovered in the last century through Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of MacTaggart:

MacTaggart Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Thomas MacTaggart, aged 36, who emigrated to the United States, in 1910
  • William Alexander MacTaggart, aged 42, who settled in America from Hawick, Scotland, in 1911
  • Margaret Jane MacTaggart, aged 40, who settled in America from Hawick, Scotland, in 1911
  • Duncan Matheson MacTaggart, who arrived in Alabama in 1920
  • Annie MacTaggart, aged 29, who landed in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1922

MacTaggart Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Duncan Donald Mactaggart, aged 57, who settled in Montreal, Canada, in 1919
  • Geraldine MacTaggart, aged 49, who emigrated to Montreal, Canada, in 1924

MacTaggart Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Robert MacTaggart arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Trafalgar" in 1849


  • James MacTaggart (1928-1974), Scottish born television producer, director and writer
  • Sir John Auld Mactaggart (b. 1951), 4th Baronet
  • Sir Ian Auld Mactaggart (1923-1987), 3rd Baronet, Chairman of the Society for Individual Freedom
  • Sir John Auld Mactaggart (1898-1960), 2nd Baronet, Managing Director of Mactaggart & Mickel
  • Sir John MacTaggart (1789-1867), 1st Baronet, Scottish Liberal politician who represented Wigtown Burghs (1835 to 1857) co-founder of the building firm Mactaggart & Mickel
  • F Iona Margaret Mactaggart (b. 1953), Scottish politician
  • Sir William MacTaggart (1903-1981), Scottish painter, President of the Scottish Academy
  • John Ellis MacTaggart (1866-1925), English philosopher


The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Ratione non vi
Motto Translation: By reason, not by force.


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  1. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  2. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  3. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  4. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  6. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  7. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  8. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  9. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  10. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  11. ...

The MacTaggart Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The MacTaggart Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 10 March 2015 at 20:45.

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